Knockhill sees rapid return to record crowds after Covid lockdown
The 2022 sporting season at Knockhill as seen the welcome return to full crowds at the two major sporting events of the year. The Bennetts British Superbike Championships in the premier national motorcycle championship in the world and attracts teams from all over the UK and riders from all over the world including Australia and Japan. During Covid times, the event did not come North due to travel restrictions in 2020 and in 2021, the restrictions meant that only 1000 spectators were permitted within the 245 acre site. The big concern from the management team at Knockhill was how long it would take for mass crowd numbers to return having not had large numbers since 2019.
The welcome news is that, partly with the much-needed support from Event Scotland, the sporting and events arm of Visit Scotland, the largest Knockhill crowd in 9 years was recorded in June for the Superbikes. With two leading Scots, reigning Champion Tarran Mackenzie and rising star Rory Skinner from Perth, the media exposure and PR opportunities were significant, all helping to drive such an impressive crowd number. This trend continued with the recent hosting of the Kwik Fit British Touring Cars as the largest crowd since 2017 was achieved, partly as there are 4 leading Scottish drivers, all of whom have their own loyal following.
Stuart Gray, Knockhill Director of Events, said "We were partly going into the unknown this year with the previous two years being affected so much. We were both thrilled and relieved that the attendances were so strong at the bigger events, particularly as things are so volatile within the economy too. The attendances show the strength of these championships and the keenness for the fans to get back to doing normal things again post pandemic. With around 45% of the crowd staying in various forms of local accommodation, the economic benefit to Dunfermline, Fife and beyond will be significant as an impressive 24% of those surveyed lived out with Scotland. The 2023 dates have been confirmed as June 19th for Superbikes and August 13th for the Touring Cars and there is every hope that the strong visitor numbers will be retained for these two feature events for Scotland.